The Arnold Classic is among the most awaited sporting contests each year. The 35th edition of the show that went down in its hometown Columbus, OH, between March 2-5 was no different. Erin Banks defeated nine competitors to win his second Arnold Classic USA title.
Banks’ win at the 2023 AC makes him the second-most-winningest Arnold Men’s Physique champ after Andre Ferguson, who has three titles to his name. Furthermore, Banks’s win in Ohio intensifies his vice-like grip on the division.
Banks had won his maiden Olympia title roughly three months before taking the stage at the 2023 Arnold Classic. He upset the three-time Men’s Physique Olympia champ Brandon Hendrikson for the bragging rights to call himself the world’s best Men’s Physique athlete.
Although fans were expecting him to compete at the 2023 AC for redemption, Hendrikson decided to take time off to focus on improving his physique. Since Hendrikson is an Olympia champ, he has a lifetime qualification to compete at Olympia.
Hendrikson’s absence at the 2023 AC skewed the contest in Bank’s favor, making him the favorite to win the show. Diogo Montenegro, who took the bronze medal at the 2022 Olympia and Arnold Classic, was the biggest threat to Banks’s AC crown. However, he couldn’t hold Banks back from snagging his second Arnold Classic title.
Banks, hands down, has the best shoulder-to-waist ratio in the IFBB Pro League Men’s Physique division. His wide lats overshadow his competitors and make him stand out on the stage.
Montenegro was Bank’s primary challenger for the Arnold Classic title, and he solidified his contention by bringing a complete package to the stage. His conditioning had improved significantly from the 2022 Olympia.
Carlos DeOliveira had a great back. He showed major improvement from his 2022 Olympia package. Emanual Hunter had one of the most polished posing skills in the prejudging round, which undoubtedly caught the judges’ eyes. Vitor Chaves had a great V-taper and breezed through his posing routine.
Banks was on fire from the moment he took the stage. He worked the stage like no one’s business. He dazzled the judges and fans with his trademark toothy smile. Every time Banks turned his back toward the judges, it was lights out for his competition.
Banks, Montenegro, Hunter, DeOliveira, and Vitor Chavez made the first callout. The judges gave each athlete a chance against the other in the prejudging round. When all was said and done, Banks and Montenegro were in the final callout, making them the favorites to win the 2023 Arnold Classic Men’s Physique title.
Hunter improved their conditioning from the prejudging round. However, they had to settle for third place.
Montenegro improved his tan from the prejudging round, which helped better display his physique. He took home the runner-up place at the 2023 AC.
Banks is a tall physique and is perfectly balanced and conditioned. He towers over his competitors, helping him stand out. He won the 2023 AC convincingly.
Montenegro matched Banks pose for pose, and the judges put them through multiple posing rounds in the confirmation round. However, the reigning Olympia champ edged out Montenegro with his wide lats and boulder shoulders.
Banks continues dominating the IFBB Pro League Men’s Physique division by winning his second Arnold Classic title. Hendrikson and gang will have to level up their game if they want to dethrone the reigning champ when the Super Bowl of bodybuilding returns to Orlando, FL, on Nov. 2, 2023.
2023 Arnold Classic Results
- Arnold Classic Open Bodybuilding Results
- Arnold Classic Men’s Physique Results
- Arnold Classic Bikini Results
- Arnold Classic Pro Wheelchair